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LUSAKA (AFP) — Power blackouts have hit most parts of Zambia following a shut-down of the country’s key hydro-power station after it developed a fault, an official said on Sunday.

The 180-megawatt Kariba North Bank Power Station developed a fault last week and was subsequently shut down to facilitate repair works, said Monica Chisela, spokeswoman of the state-run Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO).

She said in a statement that shut-down of the generators at the power station has resulted in reduced electricity generation for the country.

“This has translated into a further 50 megawatts in addition to the generators that are out of service for rehabilitation,” Chisela said.

Zambia, like many other Southern Africa nations, is facing electricity shortages caused mainly by its fast-growing economy and a lack of investment in the energy sector

“ZESCO engineers and contractors are working round the clock to rectify the problems,” she said in the statement.

The repair works are expected to be completed soon, the ZESCO statement said.

Copyright © 2008 AFP. All rights reserved.

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